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DianeHaught
Post subject: Tendinitis  PostPosted: Oct 06, 2005 - 10:14 AM





Sergeant
Tendinitis

Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon any one of the thick fibrous cords that attach muscles to bone. The condition, which causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint, is most common around your shoulders, elbows and knees. But it can also occur in your hips and wrists.

Some common names for tendinitis are tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, pitcher's shoulder, swimmer's shoulder and jumper's knee.

If tendinitis is severe and leads to the rupture of a tendon, you may need surgical repair. This is especially true if the rupture is in the Achilles tendon, the tendon just above the heel. But many times, rest and medications to reduce pain and inflammation may be the only treatments you need. You can also take simple preventive measures to reduce your chance of developing tendinitis or to keep it from affecting your normal range of motion in joints such as your shoulder



Signs and symptoms

Tendinitis produces the following symptoms near a joint that is aggravated by movement:

Pain
Tenderness
Stiffness
Tendinitis in various locations in your body produces these specific types of pain:

Tennis elbow. This type causes pain on the outer side of your forearm near your elbow when you rotate your forearm or grip an object.

Achilles tendinitis. This form causes pain just above your heel.

Adductor tendinitis. This type leads to pain in your groin.

Patellar tendinitis. In this type, you experience pain just below your kneecap

Biceps tendinitis. This form leads to shoulder pain.
If the sheath of tissue that surrounds the tendon becomes scarred and narrowed, it may cause the tendon to lock in one position, such as in the condition called trigger finger. The pain of tendinitis is usually worse with activities that use the muscle that is attached to the involved tendon.



Causes

Tendons are usually surrounded by a sheath of tissue similar to the lining of the joints (synovium). They're subject to the wear and tear of aging, direct injury and inflammatory diseases. The most common cause of tendinitis is injury or overuse during work or play. Occasionally, an infection within the tendon sheath is responsible for the inflammation.

The pain is usually the result of a small tear in or inflammation of the tendon that links your muscles to your bone. Tendinitis can also be associated with inflammatory diseases that occur throughout your body, such as rheumatoid arthritis.



Risk factors

You have a greater risk of developing tendinitis if you perform excessive repetitive motions of your arms or legs. For instance, professional baseball players, swimmers, tennis players and golfers are susceptible to tendinitis in their shoulders, arms and elbows. Soccer and basketball players, runners and dancers are more prone to tendon inflammation in their legs and feet. Improper technique in any sport is one of the primary causes of overload on tissues including tendons, which can contribute to tendinitis. But you don't have to be a professional athlete to develop this condition. The incidence of tendinitis increases with age as muscles and tendons lose their elasticity.

When to seek medical advice

Most cases of tendinitis don't require a doctor's care. But if you experience pain that interferes with your normal day-to-day activities or have soreness that doesn't improve within two weeks despite self-care measures, see your doctor. He or she may be able to help you find ways to reduce your discomfort. Your doctor may also want to conduct tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing the problem.

See your doctor if you have a fever and the area affected by tendinitis appears red or inflamed (swollen, warm). These signs and symptoms may indicate you have an infection



Screening and diagnosis

Your doctor may suspect you have tendinitis after observing the signs and symptoms of the condition or discussing them with you. But to make a diagnosis of tendinitis, your doctor will most likely want to review your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination. An X-ray often isn't helpful in diagnosing tendinitis because tendons generally aren't visible in these images. Still, your doctor may order an X-ray if he or she wants to rule out a more serious condition involving the bone. Although rarely necessary, a special imaging test known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might be ordered to reveal any weakening or tearing of the tendon or changes in the tendon sheath or covering. Your doctor may also recommend blood tests if he or she suspects that a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis may be an underlying cause of your tendinitis.



Complications

Tendinitis may become chronic or long-term and can lead to the rupture of a tendon. Tendinitis can also cause permanent damage to the tissue that makes up your tendons.

Sometimes the discomfort of tendinitis disappears within a matter of weeks, especially if you rest the involved joint. In elderly people and those who continue to use the affected area, tendinitis often heals more slowly and is more likely to progress to a chronic condition termed tendonosis. This condition often involves a change in the structure of the tendon to a weaker, more fibrous tissue.



Treatment


The goals of tendinitis treatment are to relieve your pain and reduce inflammation. Often, simple home treatment which includes rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers is all that you need.

Other treatments for tendinitis include:

Injected steroids. Sometimes your doctor may inject a steroid drug into tissue around a tendon to relieve tendinitis.

Injections of cortisone reduce inflammation and can help ease pain. However, there are potential side effects. For example, repeated injections may weaken a tendon , increasing your risk of rupturing the tendon.

Strengthening exercises. People with tendinitis and tendonosis may also benefit from a program of specific exercise designed to strengthen the force-absorbing capability of the muscle-tendon unit.

Surgery. When a tendon is torn, you may need a reconstructive operation to clean inflamed tissue out of the tendon sheath or to relieve pressure on the tendon by removing bone. Surgeons can repair tendon tears to reduce pain, restore function and, in some cases, prevent tendon rupture.
Prevention


To reduce your chance of developing tendinitis, follow these suggestions:

Ease up. Avoid activities that place excessive stress on your tendons, especially for prolonged periods. For example, long or intense periods of uphill running can contribute to Achilles tendinitis. If you notice pain during a particular exercise, stop and rest.

Mix it up. If one exercise or activity causes you a particular, persistent pain, try something else. Cross-training can help you mix up an impact-loading exercise, such as running, with lower-impact exercise, such as biking or swimming.

Improve your technique. If your technique in an activity or exercise is flawed, you could be setting yourself up for problems with your tendons. Consider taking lessons or getting professional instructions when starting a new sport or using exercise equipment.

Stretch first. Before you exercise, take time to stretch.
Use proper workplace ergonomics. At your workplace, get a proper ergonomic assessment. Fitting your workspace to your body is essential to ensure that no tendons are continually stressed or overloaded.
To avoid a recurrence of tendinitis, warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. Strengthening exercises also may help prevent further episodes of tendinitis.



Self-care


To treat tendinitis at home, P.R.I.C.E. is the acronym to remember protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment can help speed your recovery and help prevent further problems. P.R.I.C.E. involves doing the following:

Protection. Immobilize the affected area to encourage healing and to protect it from further injury. You may need to use elastic wraps, slings, splints, crutches or canes.

Rest. Avoid activities that increase the pain or swelling. Don't try to work or play through the pain. Rest is essential to tissue healing. But it doesn't mean complete bed rest. You can do other activities and exercises that don't stress the injured tendon. Swimming and water exercise may be well tolerated.

Ice. To decrease pain, muscle spasm and swelling, apply ice to the injured area for five to seven minutes, two to three times a day. Ice packs, ice massage or slush baths all can help. For an ice massage, freeze a Styrofoam cup full of water so that you can hold the cup while applying the ice directly to the skin.

Compression. Because swelling can result in loss of motion in an injured joint, compress the area until the swelling has ceased. Wraps or compressive (Ace) elastic bandages are best.

Elevation. If tendinitis affects your knees, raise the affected leg above the level of your heart to reduce swelling. It's especially important to use this position at night.

Although rest is a key part of treating tendinitis, prolonged inactivity can cause stiffness in your joints. After a few days of completely resting the injured area, gently move it through its full range of motion four times a day to maintain joint flexibility.

You can also try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) in an attempt to reduce the discomfort associated with tendinitis. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you need NSAIDs for an extended time because some of these drugs should be used for only short periods to avoid complications. The benefits gained from using these drugs long-term are questionable. If you take them frequently or take more than the recommended dose, NSAIDs can cause nausea, stomach pain, stomach bleeding and ulcers. Rarely, prolonged use can disrupt normal kidney function. The risk of these complications increases with age. If you have liver problems, talk to your doctor before using products containing acetaminophen.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?objectid=03381842-FED6-42A1-97E232E9465840BD&dsection=1


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Medical Information
It is not the intention of Raptor-Pack to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Raptor-Pack urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions and specific medical advice


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